If you know me, you know that I can be a bandwagon jumper (like this time and this other time). Of course, I’d love to be one of those people who was on the bandwagon when it first left the ranch (is that where bandwagons come from?), but most of the time I need validation that the things I think I will actually are awesome. So it’s no surprise that I have fallen in love with Game of Thrones and Mad Men, two of television’s most talked about shows…years after they both originally premiered.
I know, I know. It’s like I’ve been living under a rock or something. I mean Mad Men premiered in 2007, and Game of Thrones in 2011 with a book series published years before. I’m ridiculous. Let’s accept that as fact and move on because I need to share my obsessions with you guys.
Mad Men is one of those shows I knew I would like early on because it’s centered around advertising, a field which ties closely to my own field of public relations, but for some reason I just never turned in (apparently Bravo and HGTV were the only channels on my TV before now. Weird). Set in the 1960s, Mad Men chronicles the competitive life of New York admen and women. The show is a little bit slower than other shows I tend to gravitate towards, but if I’m being completely honest, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen (and I love that). Executive Producer Matthew Weiner did an amazing job of keeping everything true to the era, down to the treatment of females both in the office and in the home (which I know is one of the reasons that so many people dislike the show, but I find the show’s honesty and slap of reality quite refreshing). Not only that, but I love how they have developed each character to truly seem human, complete with major character flaws (we’re talking cheating, deceit, sexual harassment, and more). All too often, we find that main characters are portrayed as perfect, but that’s just not how life is. I find myself more drawn to a character that presents flaws (like Mad Men’s main character, the infamous Donald Draper) because they’re more human, and I can find some of my own imperfections in them…or something like that.
I’ve just finished the third season of Mad Men, so I have quite a ways to go still, but my hope is that I can catch up before the seventh and final season premieres on TV. If you’re into dramas that focus on a cultural slice of history, I guarantee you will love Mad Men – plus, it’s on Netflix, so you can catch up pretty darn easily. Check out the show’s promo for a quick taste of what it’s like:
Game of Thrones, on the other hand, is everything that Mad Men is not. It’s fast paced, it’s vulgar, it’s incredibly explicit, and it’s 100% fantasy, but it’s managed to make me just as addicted. Watching Game of Thrones gives me a nice foray into a sci-fi world that I’m pretty foreign to. Based on the George R. R. Martin book series, A Song of Fire and Ice, Game of Thrones is a fantasy drama set in the mythical lands of Westeros and Essos, where several royal families are fighting to gain control of the kingdom. Because there are so many characters and storylines to keep up with, it’s a difficult show to follow to say the least. And if I’m being honest, I don’t even know that I can give much of a summary without confusing the heck out of you (or spoiling any details), but I can briefly lay out the three major story lines that we follow:
- The first chronicles the civil war of the various royal families – the Lannisters, the Baratheons, the Starks, and the Tyrells – as they battle each other to gain control of the Iron Throne, and with it, the Seven Kingdoms.
- The second foreshadows the impending threat of winter and the return of mythical and mysterious creatures from the North (creatures that Westeros’ citizens believed to be extinct for thousands of years).
- And the third follows the journey of an exile and last royal heir as she discovers herself and works to gain back her true position and right.
Love, betrayal, war, sex, and conflict – all the makings of a fantastic show, and Game of Thrones has all of it. What I particularly love about this show is that they have no qualms about killing off major characters, a major disappointment of mine with many other TV shows. Not only does it keep you guessing, but I find myself even more emotionally attached to the characters when I know they could be gone in a moment. Brandon and I just finished the third season, so we’ve officially caught up with HBO, but I’m already craving more (and I have to wait until 2014…ugh!).
If you’re in the market for a new show that will keep you engaged every second, this is it. Seriously. Go watch it now (but a note of caution: Game of Thrones is an HBO series, so there is no shortage of gore and sex. I was unprepared, but you have been warned).
Now let’s talk. Which show have you seen or have you seen both? Which one do prefer? Even better, what other shows are you obsessed with – maybe I’ll jump on that bandwagon too!